DNR News Digest – Week of Sept. 20, 2021

DNR News Digest – Week of Sept. 20, 2021

 

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News Digest – Week of Sept. 20, 2021

fall color

Fall colors are on their way – plan your trip with the DNR’s fall color tour map!

This week’s stories may reflect how the Department of Natural Resources has adapted to meet customer needs and protect public health and safety. Follow our COVID-19 response page for updates on access to facilities and programs.

We’ll continue to share news and information about the best ways to discover and enjoy Michigan’s natural and heritage resources! Here’s a look at some of this week’s stories:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and others, are available in this folder.


Photo ambassador snapshot: Autumn sun at Maybury State Park

Maybury SPWant to see more pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Ana Easlick at Maybury State Park in Wayne County? Visit Instagram.com/MiStateParks to explore photos and learn more about the photo ambassadors! For more on the photo ambassador program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182.


National Hunting and Fishing Day is Sept. 25

fall huntingEstablished in 1972, National Hunting and Fishing Day celebrates and recognizes hunters and anglers for their immense contributions to fish and wildlife conservation and to our society.

Michigan provides a unique opportunity for 675,000 hunters and 1.2 million anglers who annually enjoy an abundance of land and more than 11,000 inland lakes, tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, and 3,300 miles of Great Lakes shoreline.

“The Michigan Department of Natural Resources would like to thank every single hunter and angler in our state,” said DNR Director Dan Eichinger. “Together, our community of conservationists provides better habitat for a diversity of fish and wildlife species, better protections for our natural resources and improved opportunities for hunting and fishing recreation.”

fall fishingGov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a proclamation to mark Sept. 25 as Hunting and Fishing Day in Michigan to recognize their importance and to bring awareness to conservation efforts driven by hunters and anglers.

Hunting and fishing benefit Michigan’s economy by annually generating $11.2 billion, and this spending supports more than 171,000 jobs in Michigan.

On Sept. 25, head out for a day of fun in the field or on the water. Just make sure you have a 2021 hunting or fishing license with you when you go. Licenses can be purchased at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses.

Whether you’re a seasoned hunter, avid angler or a beginner, review safety tips at Michigan.gov/DNR under the Education and Safety tab in addition to reviewing rules and regulations at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests.


DNR, Detroit Pistons teamed up to bring trees to families

pistons treeFollowing a tree giveaway event last week at the Outdoor Adventure Center in downtown Detroit, 150 new trees are making their way into neighborhoods by car and bike, on foot and even by boat. In partnership with the DNR, The Greening of Detroit and the Detroit Pistons planned and organized the event.

During the 2019-2020 basketball season, the Pistons’ “Threes for Trees” promotion put aside money for community trees each time a Pistons player made a 3-point shot. Although the final tree distribution event was delayed by the pandemic, the trees are now finding homes just in time to add to Michigan’s fall color season.

“The maple, oak and hornbeam trees we shared with the community will shade and beautify neighborhoods,” said Kevin Sayers, Urban and Community Forestry program leader for the DNR.

Families gathered at the event to pick out the perfect trees for their yards and pack them with care into cars, onto bikes and on the decks of boats in the nearby marina to get them home.

The family-friendly giveaway featured an appearance by Pistons mascot Hooper, forest-themed takeaway activities by the DNR and tree-planting advice from The Greening of Detroit, a local nonprofit working to bring the benefits of healthy trees to the city.

Trees are important for urban areas because they bring natural beauty to neighborhoods, clean the air by absorbing pollutants, filter stormwater to keep rivers and lakes healthy, and provide habitat for local wildlife like birds and butterflies.

The DNR works with a variety of organizations to promote the benefits of trees in urban areas. Learn more about:

Questions? Contact Kevin Sayers at 517-582-3209.


Trek a trail during Michigan Trails Week Challenge

fall bike ride familyMichigan Trails Week is upon us, and so is the Michigan Trails Week Challenge! Whether you’re into hiking, biking, horseback riding, snowmobiling, off-roading or paddling, this is the week to get out on your favorite trail or explore someplace new.

With more than 13,000 miles of state-designated trails in Michigan, it’s easy to find a great trail experience near you.

No matter how you like to travel the trails, everyone’s invited to contribute their miles toward a statewide, collective goal of 100,000 miles. Just register online and log your miles spent on any local, county, state or federally managed trail to earn virtual badges and be entered in a drawing for cool outdoor gear and Michigan-branded prizes. You can earn a virtual badge when you register for the challenge and log at least 1 mile, and then every time you:

  • Bike 10 miles.
  • Horseback ride 5 miles.
  • Paddle 2 miles.
  • Ride (ORV, ATV or motorcycle) 15 miles.
  • Walk, run or hike 5 miles.

Find trails, etiquette tips, state land rules and more on the DNR’s state trails page. Questions? Contact Michelle O’Kelly at 517-881-5884.


Take a fall color tour with the DNR as your guide

fall color mapPeak fall colors are on the way, which means Michigan’s nearly 20 million acres of forest land are ready to put on their annual show, enticing visitors and residents on road trips around the state.

Predictions are showing colors are ahead of schedule and will move through Michigan by mid-October, which means you’ll want to plan early to ensure you make the most of the trees’ dazzling displays of reds, oranges, golds and greens. We’re ready to help you enjoy the season with our map of ideas to plan your very own fall color tour.

As the colors peak in your area, head out to fish for salmon, take in some Michigan history at state parks and museums, hunt at one of our Grouse Enhanced Management Sites or take a heart-pumping color tour on an ORV trail. If you’re looking for something a little more serene, maybe an evening spent on a leisurely hike watching migrating sandhill cranes or elk viewing is more your speed.

Whatever your pace, we’ve got ideas for this spectacular season. Michigan is the place to be to experience all the colors of fall. We’ll see you outside.

Questions? Contact the DNR Public Information Office at
DNR-Public-Info@michigan.gov.


National Public Lands Day, Sept. 25: A day to give back

forest cleanupEvery year, on the fourth Saturday in September, we celebrate National Public Lands Day – the country’s largest, single-day volunteer effort centered around public lands. It’s a great opportunity for people to devote a day to caring for public green and wild spaces, including parks, trails, hunting lands and forests.

In Michigan, with an abundance of public lands where people can stretch out, explore the outdoors and reconnect with themselves and nature, we are more fortunate than most. If you appreciate these amazing resources, how about showing some love this Saturday? You’ll feel good while doing some good!

Not sure where to start? Visit Michigan.gov/DNRVolunteers, where you’ll find dozens of ways to lend a hand. Options include:

  • Stewardship workdays: Help restore and maintain fragile, native ecosystems in more than 20 state parks across southern Michigan.
  • Adopt-a-Forest: Clean up illegal dump sites and increase awareness of recycling opportunities for waste materials found at these sites.
  • Invasive species reporting: Whenever you visit public lands in Michigan, look for and report invasive species that threaten our woods and water.

The DNR is proud to care for approximately 4.6 million acres of public lands owned by Michigan residents. These include state forests (3.9 million acres), state parks (357,000 acres) and state game and wildlife areas (364,000 acres). If you’d like to learn more about these resources, visit Michigan.gov/PublicLands.

The staff and volunteers who help maintain these public resources welcome more assistance on National Public Lands Day and all year long. Hope to see you out there!


THINGS TO DO

Get a spooky start to the season Sept. 24-25 with a paranormal event at Fayette Historic State Park rain or shine. Learn how to be a paranormal investigator at this historic townsite. Register now!

BUY & APPLY

The Underground Railroad Heritage Gathering has upcoming virtual programs and culminates with an all-day event in Ann Arbor Oct. 2. Registration is $12 and includes a boxed lunch.

GET INVOLVED

There’s still time to give input on the DNR’s 2023 state forest management plan. See the input schedule and submit your comments via the MI State Forest Map or contact a unit manager.

Be on the lookout for spotted lanternfly

Be on the lookout for spotted lanternfly

 
NOTE: This is a copy of a news release sent out earlier today from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.


For immediate release: September 15, 2021
Program contact: Robert Miller, (517) 614-0454
Media contact: Jennifer Holton, 517-284-5724

Be on the lookout for spotted lanternfly, an invasive species threatening agriculture, natural resources

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) is asking the public to be on the lookout for spotted lanternfly, an invasive insect with the potential to seriously affect Michigan’s agriculture and natural resources. This insect could damage or kill more than 70 varieties of crops and plants including grapes, apples, hops, and hardwood trees. To date, spotted lanternfly has not been detected in Michigan.

Spotted lanternfly with open wings showing colorful underwings and bodyFirst detected in the United States in 2014 in southeastern Pennsylvania, spotted lanternfly has been spreading rapidly across the northeastern states. There have been confirmed infestations in Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia.

Spotted lanternfly causes direct damage by sucking sap from host plants and secreting large amounts of a sugar-rich, sticky liquid called honeydew. This honeydew and the resulting black sooty mold can kill plants and foul surfaces. The honeydew often attracts other pests like yellow jackets, flies, and ants, affecting outdoor recreation and complicating crop harvests.

“Spotted lanternfly may be a colorful insect worthy of an Instagram post, but also is an invasive species with the potential to wreak havoc on trees, plants and other natural resources, resulting in millions of dollars in damages,” said Robert Miller, invasive species prevention and response specialist for MDARD. “In addition, it has the potential to impact grapes, stone fruits, apples and other crops in Michigan’s fruit belt as well as important timber species statewide.”

Spotted lanternfly with wings folded showing grey wings with black spotsFrom late summer to the first hard frost, spotted lanternflies are in their adult stage. Adults are roughly one inch long. Their folded wings are gray to brown with black spots. Open wings reveal a yellow and black abdomen and bright red hind wings with black spots transitioning to black and white bands at the edge.

Adults are busy laying egg masses, which resemble old chewing gum, with a gray, waxy, putty-like coating. Egg masses can survive winter temperatures to hatch in the spring. Hatched eggs appear as brownish, seed-like deposits. Spotted lanternfly nymphs are wingless and are black with white spots, developing red patches in their final nymph stage.

In November 2020, MDARD and the United States Department of Agriculture confirmed dead spotted lanternfly adults found in packing material at two separate locations in Michigan, demonstrating one of the many ways this insect could find its way into the state.

A spotted lanternfly egg mass on a tree trunk.Individuals and businesses receiving shipments from states known to have spotted lanternfly should also be on the lookout for adults or egg masses on goods and packing materials.

Recent discoveries of small populations in eastern Ohio and southern Indiana, indicate spotted lanternfly continues to encroach into the Midwest. With the current rate of spread, it is possible that spotted lanternfly could reach Michigan at any time. Public awareness and reporting are essential to early detection, which provides the opportunity to contain an infestation before it becomes a widespread problem.

If you find a spotted lanternfly egg mass, nymph or adult, take one or more photos, make note of the date, time and location of the sighting, and report to the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, MDA-Info@Michigan.gov or phone the MDARD Customer Service Center, 800-292-3939. If possible, collect a specimen in a container for verification.

Before traveling, check out the map of confirmed spotted lanternfly locations. For additional information on identifying or reporting, visit Michigan.gov/SpottedLanternfly.


Michigan’s Invasive Species Program is cooperatively implemented by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, the Department of Natural Resources, and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.


/Note to editors: Accompanying photos are available below for download. Suggested captions and credit information follow:

SLF: The adult spotted lanternfly displays its colorful underwings and striped body when wings are open. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.

SLF folded wings: Spotted lanternflies are more likely to be seen with wings folded. Look for grey to brown wings with black spots, and black-striped wing tips. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.

SLF egg mass: Spotted lanternfly egg masses are gray to brown and resemble old chewing gum. Photo courtesy of Lawrence Barringer, Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Bugwood.org.

 

DNR News Digest – Week of Sept. 13, 2021

DNR News Digest – Week of Sept. 13, 2021

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News Digest – Week of Sept. 13, 2021

fall header 2

Fall will be here before you know it! Start prepping for fall hunting and camping seasons.

This week’s stories may reflect how the Department of Natural Resources has adapted to meet customer needs and protect public health and safety. Follow our COVID-19 response page for updates on access to facilities and programs.

We’ll continue to share news and information about the best ways to discover and enjoy Michigan’s natural and heritage resources! Here’s a look at some of this week’s stories:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at Michigan.gov/DNRPressRoom.

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and others, are available in this folder.


Photo ambassador snapshot: Scattered sunbeams at Port Crescent

port crescent state park dunesWant to see more pictures like this, taken by Michigan state parks photo ambassador Karen Allmond at Port Crescent State Park in Huron County? Visit Instagram.com/MiStateParks to explore photos and learn more about the photo ambassadors! For more on the photo ambassador program, call Stephanie Yancer at 989-274-6182.


Environmental ed conference, Oct. 1-3, features DNR programs

A man in DNR short and shorts talks to a group of male and female conference attendees in the woodsEducators of all types will head to Eastern Michigan University, in Ypsilanti, next month for the state’s premier environmental education conference. It takes place Oct. 1-3, a full weekend of workshops, field trips and breakout classes aimed at inspiring teachers, Scout leaders, and staff and volunteers from zoos and nature centers to consider creative, new ways of connecting with students and visitors.

DNR-inspired sessions include:

  • A field trip to Waterloo Recreation Area, the Lower Peninsula’s largest state park.
  • Project Wild workshop to train teachers on using wildlife management concepts in the classroom.
  • An opportunity to explore virtual learning, built around the DNR’s successful Nature at School program.

Hosted by the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education, the conference is still accepting registrations. Learn more at MAEOE.com.

Questions? Contact Kevin Frailey at 517-974-7941.


September is Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month

Video thumbnail play button overlay on a smiling male conservation officerWith deer hunting seasons getting underway around the state next month, many hunters are setting up tree stands now, during Tree Stand Safety Awareness Month.

When using a tree stand or an elevated platform during a hunt, keep these tips in mind:

  • Wear a full-body harness that is properly attached above your head.
  • Always maintain three points of contact when climbing up to or down from the stand.
  • Ensure your tree stand is securely attached and stable before using it.

Watch this short video about tree stand safety for more good ideas.

Tree stands placed on public land must have the owner’s name, address, and Michigan driver’s license number or DNR sportcard number placed on them –information that should be legible from the ground. Tree stands left unoccupied on public land may be used by anyone.

During every hunt, make safety your top priority. Need a refresher? The DNR’s hunter education program teaches tree stand safety, firearm handling, first aid and other important skills. Visit Michigan.gov/HunterEducation to locate a hunter safety course in your area.

Questions? Contact Lt. Tom Wanless at WanlessT@Michigan.gov.


Small game opener is Sept. 15!

woodcockEnjoy Michigan’s abundant small game hunting opportunities this fall, all with your base license.

Spend some time in the woods searching for gray and fox squirrels and maybe scout out a spot for deer hunting later this fall. Squirrel (fox and gray), rabbit, hare and ruffed grouse hunting all open Sept. 15.

New this year, woodcock season also begins Sept. 15. In addition to your small game license, you’ll need to have a free woodcock stamp, which includes your Harvest Information Program registration.

More information on small game hunting opportunities in Michigan can be found at Michigan.gov/SmallGame. Check the 2021 Hunting Digest, available at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests, for season dates, bag limits and other regulations.

For a place to hunt, check out Michigan.gov/MIHunt. MI-HUNT is an interactive map that shows lands open to public hunting throughout the state. Michigan’s grouse enhanced management sites (GEMS) sites are great places for grouse and other small game hunting. Learn about these premier bird hunting locations at Michigan.gov/GEMS.

Fall turkey hunting also starts Sept. 15, and even if you didn’t enter the drawing for a limited-quota license, you still could snag a turkey tag. Leftover fall turkey licenses will be sold until quotas are met, and hunters may purchase up to one license a day. Hunters may harvest one turkey per license. Check leftover turkey license availability and find additional fall turkey hunting information at Michigan.gov/Turkey.

Still need to get your 2021 base license? Buy online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or anywhere DNR licenses are sold.

Questions? Contact the DNR Wildlife Division at 517-284-9453.


Natural Resources Commission meets Thursday in Lansing

view of part of someone's body, wearing a tan jacket, with a hand holding a walleye with a rainbow lure hooked on its mouthSeveral fisheries orders, a land use order regarding beach access, introduction of DNR Wildlife Division Chief Jared Duquette and several land transactions are just some of the agenda items for the next meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission, scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 16.

The meeting will start at 9 a.m. at the MSU Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, 4125 Beaumont Road, in Lansing. (Please note that masks are required indoors for all people entering MSU facilities. For more information, visit MSU.edu/Together-We-Will.)

See the meeting’s full draft agenda at Michigan.gov/NRC. For more information or to request time to speak at the meeting, contact Su Schrauger at 517-284-6237 or NRC@Michigan.gov.


THINGS TO DO

Fall is prime hunting time; if you’re new to the sport and don’t know where to start, check out the Learn to Hunt page for tools, tips and tricks for hunting beginners.

BUY & APPLY

The leaves will soon be turning, and now is the perfect time to make a reservation for your favorite fall campsite, lodging or shelter. Make sure you have your Recreation Passport!

GET INVOLVED

Want to help scientists as they study your favorite species? Check out the abundant community science opportunities available in Michigan and beyond.

DNR receives global award for investigation

DNR receives global award for investigation

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– DNR News –

Sept. 14, 2021
Contact: Lt. Vence Woods (DNR), 989-705-3449

DNR receives global award for investigation of illegal toxic chemical dumping by Flint company

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources was honored Monday for an environmental investigation led by conservation officers in the DNR Law Enforcement Division revealing that Flint-based Oil Chem illegally disposed of more than 47 million gallons of environmentally harmful liquid in the City of Flint’s sewer system over an eight-year period.

DNR Law Enforcement Division Chief Gary Hagler, together with Lt. Vence Woods, accepted the 2021 Chief David Cameron Leadership in Environmental Crimes Award at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference, held virtually this year.

“It is fantastic to see the DNR’s Law Enforcement Division and Environmental Investigations Section recognized with this prestigious IACP award,” said Hagler.

The DNR’s environmental investigation detectives are funded by, and conduct criminal investigations for, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

“Our partnership with EGLE is mutually beneficial and very productive for the residents of our state,” Hagler said. “This is an honor that law enforcement agencies around the world compete for.”

This short video posted to the IACP website takes a look at the investigative work of DNR conservation officers.

Case background

In October 2015, Detective Jan Erlandson, conservation officer in the DNR’s Environmental Investigations Section, received a complaint from an employee at the Flint Wastewater Treatment Plant. The employee believed that Oil Chem was receiving leachate from area landfills and illegally dumping it into the sanitary sewer, which flows into the Flint River. The treatment plant’s discharge point for the treated wastewater was downstream of the location where drinking water was taken from the Flint River in 2014 to 2015.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, leachate is formed when rain water filters through wastes placed in a landfill. When this liquid comes in contact with buried wastes, it leaches, or draws out, chemicals or constituents from those wastes.

Oil Chem is a global company that specializes in the formulation and custom blending of metalworking lubricants, industrial cleaning chemicals and maintenance oils. Consistent with a permit issued by the City of Flint under the Clean Water Act, the company was not permitted to accept leachate or to discharge any amount of polychlorinated biphenyl waste. PCBs have been shown to cause a variety of adverse health effects, notably cancer in animals. Noncancer effects include impacts to the nervous, immune, reproductive and endocrine systems, among others.

Erlandson’s investigation revealed that Robert Massey, Oil Chem’s owner, authorized from 2007 to 2015 for the company to accept leachate from eight different landfills – including People’s Landfill, a garbage dump in Saginaw County, which contained PCB waste. This put Oil Chem and Massey in direct violation of laws prohibiting discharging on-site wastewater into state waters and disposal of liquid industrial byproducts.

Resolution and penalties

Based on Erlandson’s investigation, the case was pursued by the EPA’s Criminal Investigations Division, which resulted in Massey’s indictment.

In December 2020, Massey signed a plea agreement for violating the Clean Water Act, and, in May 2021, he was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan. Oil Chem paid a civil fine of $250,000 to the City of Flint and EGLE revoked the company’s waste hauler license.

Detective Erlandson, now retired, served the DNR Law Enforcement Division from 2000 to 2021.

“The Michigan DNR Environmental Investigations Section would like to thank the EPA Criminal Investigations Division, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s Materials Management and Water Resource divisions and Michigan State Police for their assistance with this criminal investigation,” said Lt. Vence Woods, DNR Environmental Investigation Section supervisor.

Known for its commitment to enhancing community safety by shaping the future of the police profession, the International Association of Chiefs of Police is the world’s largest and most influential professional association for police leaders. Since 1893, IACP has been serving communities worldwide by speaking out on behalf of law enforcement and advancing leadership and professionalism in policing worldwide. With more than 31,000 members in over 165 countries, IACP is a recognized leader in global policing, committed to advancing safer communities through thoughtful, progressive police leadership.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned law enforcement officers who protect natural resources, ensure recreational safety and protect residents by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Due to the nature of their job, these officers often work with federal, state and local law enforcement officers to ensure public safety. Learn more at Michigan.gov/ConservationOfficers.

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to Michigan.gov/DNR.

 

PAINT CREEK TRAIL HOST RIBBON CUTTING

PAINT CREEK TRAIL HOST RIBBON CUTTING

PAINT CREEK TRAIL TO HOST RIBBON CUTTING AND RECOGNITION CEREMONY

Ceremony planned for Tuesday, September 21, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. on the Paint Creek Trail

 Oakland Township, Michigan: Join the Paint Creek Trailways Commission on Tuesday, September 21st, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. on the Paint Creek Trail to celebrate the opening of Bridge 33.7 and the 2019 trail resurfacing along with a Recognition Ceremony for several past Trailways Commissioners.

Bridge 33.7, a 95-year-old timber pedestrian bridge located on the trail between Dutton and Silverbell Roads, was completely replaced during the summer of 2019. The design of the new seventy-five-foot keystone-style steel truss bridge greatly improves accessibility for trail users and also supports a greater load capacity, allowing maintenance and emergency vehicles to safely cross. The bridge is fundamental to the operations of the Paint Creek Trail and the new bridge provides safe, continuous use of the trail for cyclists, pedestrians, equestrians, nature lovers, and anglers. Funding for the project was provided by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Trust Fund grant program, a Transportation Alternative Program (TAP) grant from the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT), and a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. Oakland Township Parks and Recreation, who is responsible for the maintenance of Bridge 33.7, also contributed a $156,000 cash match for the bridge replacement.

The ribbon cutting ceremony will also celebrate the Trail’s 2019 resurfacing. As part of this project, the entire Paint Creek Trail was resurfaced with crushed limestone. Resurfacing of the trail is an ongoing event of a cyclical nature and last occurred in 2004. The four Paint Creek Trailways Commission member communities of the Oakland Township, Orion Township, Rochester, and Rochester Hills each committed funds towards the resurfacing of its section of the trail. Additional funding for the project was generously provided by the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. This project greatly improved the smoothness and regularity of the trail, and provides a safer and more predictable and enjoyable surface for all trail users.

In addition to the ribbon cutting, the Trailways Commission will also honor six past Trailways Commissioners for their service to the Paint Creek Trailways Commission. Each of the past Commissioners will be presented with a commemorative pewter Paint Creek Trail spike in a display box. Being honored that day are Dr. Susan Bowyer, former Commissioner for the city of Rochester Hills; Frank Ferriolo, former Commissioner for Oakland Township; Kim Russell, former Commissioner for the city of Rochester; Lisa Sokol, former Commissioner for Orion Township; and Hank Van Agen, former Commissioner for Oakland Township. Former Paint Creek Trailways Chairperson and Commissioner for Rochester Hills Rock Blanchard will also be honored at the event with a resolution recognizing his longtime service to the Commission.

Attendees are asked to please park at the Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd., Rochester, Michigan, 48306 and walk 1¼ miles south down the Paint Creek Trail to the bridge site for the ceremony. Please contact the Trail office at 248-651-9260 if you have a disability and require accommodations to fully participate in the event.

The Trailways Commission had planned to hold a ribbon cutting in 2020 to celebrate the opening of the new bridge and the trail resurfacing but social distancing guidelines prevented it. “The Commission is excited to celebrate the completion of these two projects with our member communities, our generous project supporters, and our enthusiastic trail users,” said Paint Creek Trail Manager Melissa Ford.

“During this ribbon cutting event, we are celebrating the completion of many needed projects along the Trail. We also are honoring our past Commissioners for their community service,” said Donni Steele, Paint Creek Trailways Commission Chairperson. “Over the past several years, these Commissioners selflessly donated their time and energy to improving, watching and caring for our Paint Creek Trail – truly, one of our community gems,” she continued. “We are also very thankful for the generous grants bestowed upon us, along with the continuous community collaboration, which allowed these long-standing projects to become a reality.”

About the Paint Creek Trail: The Paint Creek Trail was the first non-motorized rail-to-trail in the State of Michigan, and traverses through the communities of Rochester, Rochester Hills, Oakland Township, Orion Township, and the Village of Lake Orion. The Trail annually serves approximately 100,000 pedestrians, cyclists, equestrians, anglers, nature enthusiasts, and users of all ages and abilities. For more information about the Paint Creek Trail, visit www.paintcreektrail.org, or call (248) 651-9260.

About the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund: The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is financed by royalties paid on the sale and lease of state-owned oil, gas, and mineral rights. Applications are accepted from state and local government agencies for the acquisition and development of outdoor recreation facilities. The deadline for applications is April 1st of each year, with the decisions made in early December. The MNRTF makes the grant recommendations and submits them to the state legislature for approval and appropriations.

DNR receives global award for investigation

DNR postpones full reopening of some facilities

Centennial banner

– DNR News –

This Sept. 2 news release is being reissued to update weblinks.
Sept. 2, 2021

Contact: DNR-Public-Info@Michigan.gov

DNR postpones full reopening of some facilities until October

Michigan Department of Natural Resources customer service centers and certain field offices will remain on a three-days-per-week open to the public schedule – Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays – until at least Oct. 4.

The three-day schedule for these facilities has been in place since July 20. The offices had been set to reopen to the public five days a week after Labor Day, prior to new coronavirus advisories and recommendations.

The affected customer service centers include Baraga, Bay City, Cadillac, Detroit, Escanaba, Gaylord, Lansing, Marquette, Newberry, Plainwell, Roscommon, Sault Ste. Marie and Traverse City.

These DNR offices sell hunting and fishing licenses and fuelwood permits and answer questions about hunting and fishing regulations, trails and many other outdoor recreation topics. Residents and visitors frequently stop at these locations while traveling throughout Michigan.

Fuelwood cutting permits, provided at DNR customer service centers, are free and downloadable for this season.

Find the location nearest you on this map of DNR customer service centers.

Field offices with the same public availability include Crystal Falls, Naubinway and Norway.

Additional open dates, information

  • Headquarters buildings at Michigan state parks and recreation areas and state-managed harbors are open.
  • Michigan History Center museums and historic sites vary by location. The Michigan Iron Industry Museum in Negaunee is open Wednesday-Sunday (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), while the flagship Michigan History Museum in Lansing is open for weekend hours (Fridays/Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sundays 1 to 5 p.m.) and, starting Sept. 7, by appointment for groups Monday through Thursday. The Mann House and Tawas Point Lighthouse  are closed for the 2021 season.
  • The Archives of Michigan is open by appointment Monday-Friday (1 to 5 p.m.) and, starting Sept. 7, Saturdays (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Staff continues to also provide reference services by phone and email.
  • The State of Michigan has adopted a mask mandate for the Michigan Library and Historical Center building, which is home to the Michigan History Museum and the Archives of Michigan. All visitors must wear a mask when in these spaces.
  • On Belle Isle in Detroit, the Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory is now open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. The Belle Isle Aquarium (operated by the Belle Isle Conservancy) is open to the public 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. The casino and Flynn Pavilion are open for rentals. Please contact the Belle Isle administration office at 313-821-9844.
  • All DNR shooting ranges are open. Check each range’s webpage for dates and hours of operation.
  • The Outdoor Adventure Center in Detroit is closed through Thursday, Sept. 30 for annual maintenance, upgrades and repair. It will reopen Friday, Oct. 1.
  • Check for information on DNR fish hatcheries and weirs.

State parks and campgrounds, state game and wildlife areas, state forests and many other places are open, as they have been throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic. Follow the DNR’s COVID-19 information page for updates on all facility closures and reopening dates.

There is no longer a statewide requirement to wear a face mask in most settings; however, local health departments, establishments, sports organizers, and school districts may have additional rules that must be followed.

On Aug. 10, 2021, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its guidance on face coverings. In areas with substantial and high transmission, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone (including fully vaccinated people) wear face masks in public indoor settings to help prevent spread of COVID-19, especially the Delta variant, and to protect others. In addition, you will see DNR staff wearing masks. The public is encouraged to do the same.

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to Michigan.gov/DNR.